Sunday, 29 November 2009

Black Powder Open Day

I haf a great day yesterday at the BP open day at Melstrom Games in Mansfield, hosted by Warlord Games.

I chatted to Rick Priestley about the rules, caught up with Paul and John from Warlord and played through the zulu war scenario from the book twice (once from each side). As with my AWI experiments, the games were fast and fun, and the zulu war "felt" sufficiently different from the AWI to show how mixing and matching the options on the book can be used to tailor the rules to different periods. The napoleonic game that the Perrys brought looked stunning.

The atmosphere all day was brilliant and everyone seemed to have a good time, roll on the next open day.

While recommending rules is a very subjective thing, I can say that BP gives me exactly what I am looking for in a tactical horse and musket game, and I'll be sticking with it. Initially this will be for the AWI, but I wouldn't rule out a small SYW imagination project sometime in the future...

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Second foray into Black Powder

Hello again.

We tried a more organised scenario this time. It was based on the battle of Charlotte, 1780. Forces were:

Major Hanger (command value 8. )
British legion cavalry, 2 units each of 9 figures (standard units) Marauders
British legion infantry, 2 units each of 12 figures (small units), skirmish
Light companies, 1 unit of 18 figures (standard unit), First fire, Elite 4+, skirmish

Colonel Davie (command value 8. CinC )
Davie's cavalry, 1 unit of 9 figures (standard unit) Marauders
Davidson's NC Rifles, 1 unit of 12 figures (small unit) Skirmishers, rifled muskets
Colonel Graham (command value 8. )
North Carolina Militia, 3 units of 18 figures (standard units), wavering

The game was played down the length of a 6×4 table. The second quarter of the table contained the town of Charlotte - 4 building block sarranged to form a crossroads. Towards the american baseline were some areas of swamp and woods.

The americans had to set-up in the central 1/3 of the table (i.e. in the town or just behind it). The american aim was to exit more figures off their base egde than the british could exit off the same edge (infantry count 1, cavalry count 2 and officers count as 6) [The values are arrived at because of my element basing of figures, and in practice I count "elements" exited].

The british start off table and arrive in march column in the centre of their base-edge. The americans cannot start to retreat with any units until at least one has taken a hit from shooting or hand-to-hand.

As the british start with a smaller force than the americans, they are forced to get stuck in, as otherwise all units will exit the table and the larger american force will win by default. In time, the victory conditions may get tweaked further to encourage the americans to actually defend as well as retreat.

Despite the small table, moves and ranges were straight from the rulebook, this caused no problems.

The scenario played well for a first attempt, although the small size (5 units per side) meant that my awful luck meant that the British didn't do very well! As BP has been developed mainly for large battles I think there is a need to think carefully when designing scenarios for smaller games. There are plenty of tools in the box to even out extremes of dice luck, and this seems preferrable to adding house rules. This probably means that small scenarios will have a different look/emphasis than those in the rulebook. For my next run through of the scenario I think I will rate the militia as unreliable and the legion cavalry as elite (perhaps 5+) or add an extra commander to the British. The elite characteristic suits my view of the AWI better than the crack/steady approach taken in the rulebook.


Wednesday, 18 November 2009

First foray into Black Powder

Got down to the club for the first time in a few weeks, taking my copy of Black Powder and some AWI figures.

I set up a small scenario, a sort of cut-down Camden, to try out the rules with Phil and Martin. Unit stats were cobbled together and based mainly on the Freeman's Farm scenario in the rulebook.

Overall the game played quickly and smoothly, although with inevitable delays for looking things up in the rulebook. I think that these are the way forward for my AWI gaming and look forward to having another bash next week.

First thoughts for revising unit stats are to hinder the H-to-H ability of american rifle units and find further ways to hamstring the militia!


Monday, 16 November 2009

Beavering away

Still here, but busily painting a unit of British napoleonic infantry and photographing each step for an article on the Baccus website.

Hoping to have a game of Black Powder at the club on Wednesday, using my 28mm AWI collection


Sunday, 8 November 2009

Allied army additions

Here are the latest additions to the Waterloo project, at long last.

First is Pack's brigade, containing some fine highlanders of the Black Watch, supported by the Royal Scots.
Here is a closer shot, showing my attempts to paint tartan on the kilts.

Second base is one of Hanoverian Landwehr. The flags are somewhat conjectural and/or simplified. The figures are british in stovepipe for the rank-and-file, with british in belgic shako for the officer and standard bearer
here is a shot of the massed ranks from the rear:

The British have been strengthened by adding the Scots Greys. I have attempted to capture the essence of Lady Butler's painting, so they are not as closely ranked as I normally base cavalry. They should stand out on the battlefield.

Here is the player's eye view (i.e.the rear of the unit)

I have also finished off the Dutch Belgian Heavy Cavalry Division with the additon of the Dutch Carabiniers (using SYW Prussian figures):

and from the side to show some extra detail:

Lastly, the Brunswick cavalry brigade - hussars and uhlans. The former are british hussar figures in shako and the latter are austrian uhlan figures:

I'll start the next batch tomorrow!

Thursday, 5 November 2009

Basing up

Hurrah! My Baccus order arrived the other day so I was able to complete my first Hanoverian landwehr.

Tonight I have based up the following:
Halkett's Hanoverian brigade
Pack's British brigade
The Scots Greys
The Dutch carabiniers
The Brunswich Cavalry brigade

Tomorrow I'll begin basing Phil's Russians (batch 2) and start painting the basework on today's stuff.

Next for the big black undercoat brush are some British commanders...